From various sources, including JAMA:
Several studies released this week examine how tort reform laws in different states - including 27 with caps on noneconomic damages in malpractice suits -- have affected physician services and malpractice insurance premium rates.
States that capped noneconomic damages in malpractice cases experienced a 2.4% increase in overall physician supply compared with states that have no such caps, holding other factors constant, according to a study in JAMA.
The study says physician services increased in every state from 1985 to 2001, but states with damage caps saw a higher than average increase in the number of doctors than states without tort reform. In addition, the study finds that more of the services growth was among doctors with 20 or more years of experience (Washington Times, 6/1). Overall, the study finds that the supply of professionally active doctors throughout the nation increased from 497,140 in 1985 to 709,168 in 2001.
A professor at the University of Oklahoma College of Puglic Health said the data shows the impact of tort reform on physician supply is "relatively modest."
For more news and a roundup of the studies , go here.